Category Archives: Music & the Arts

Chuck Berry with…

I was digging around the Internet and came across an article from Rolling Stone Magazine about some of the various collaborations Chuck Berry performed with other personalities. I found them historically interesting and thought some of you might also enjoy them. Click on the button to be linked to the RS story and videos.

Click the button for the Rolling Stone article. 

 

Bolero

I don’t know when I first heard Bolero but my best guess would be in the late 1960s while in college. I just remember being smitten by it, totally consumed. In the late 70s I bought a high-end stereo system and a new vinyl of Bolero. I was between marriages and building a new house. Living alone I would put Bolero on the turntable, turn on the repeat button, and listen to this magnificent crescendo while working on the home. I remember stopping occasionally and pretending like I was conducting the LA Philharmonic using my hammer as a baton.

The only other musical piece that had such an effect on me was the musical score from Les Miserable. I’m soon to be seventy-five years old and my hearing is shot to hell. Some great degree of the loss is probably a result of traveling with Bolero and Les Mis’ blasting from my car’s stereo system. At least I can say I lost my ear hairs to a class act!

A Box, a String, & Four Wires

Jerome Graille is a French cigar box guitarist and if you have any doubts about the range of music that can come from a simple box, a stick, and four wires, check out this video. You can also find more of Graille’s work at his website. You might consider supporting him by becoming a patron.

The Time for Protest

Many of you know I’m a huge fan of Playing for Change. The effort to bring the world’s people together through the universal language of music. I cut my liberal teeth on the protest music of the 1950s and 60s and PforP just today released a new video containing a y. If ever the need for continued protest was appropriate, this is it.

Enjoy, pat your feet, clap your hands, and then somehow join the resistance movement. We have a long way to go!

Vampire Warrior

We have a very accomplished niece, Erin Michael, who is a silversmith and gemologists in Huntsville, AL. One of her creations was recently featured in the TV series, Vampire Warrior. The item was a set of earrings called Warrior Flames and worn by the character Caroline.

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Erin Michael – Historic Lowe Mill, 2211 Seminole Drive, #128, Huntsville, AL 35805

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Does That Make Me Crazy?

does-that-make-me-crazyI don’t have a clue about who Gnarls Barkley is other than a few years ago he had a hit song out called Crazy. Not the Patsy Cline Crazy but a totally different Crazy. After hearing it a few times I fell crazy in like with it.

Step forward to today and one of my favorite groups of entertainers, Playing for Change, has released a video of three of its members sitting on some public steps and performing their version of Barkley’s Crazy.

Been a while since I shared any PFC stuff so here it is….enjoy!

Dayton & The Golden Boys

We celebrated our thirty-seventh anniversary back in July but weren’t able to do anything special. Then our daughter called with news about a rock ‘n roll show in Dayton featuring Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and Fabian. I asked Janet if she was interested and she was. So, I got decent tickets, made a motel reservation and on the 6th of August we headed north.

The concert was held at the Rose Music Center in Hubert Heights and it is a fantastic venue. It seats about 4200 people, all under a roof, plenty of parking, easy access, good amenities, etc. The only negative was sitting on the east side of the venue. This event began at 7 pm and half way through the setting sun dropped below the

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Micah’s New CD – Spells

Many of you are familiar with the music and talent of Micah Kesselring, the young Bloomingville, Ohio  blues musician who has twice appeared at Greenfield events.

Micah has several CD collections on the market and has started an Indiegogo project to help fund another one. Indiegogo is a major crowd sourcing company and is often used by musicians to make themselves known and help fund their creations. I’ve participated in several and always gotten a sense of satisfaction, along with a copy of the CD, for my contribution. I’ll never be a Renaissance Medici type patron of the arts but for a couple of bucks I can feel a little warm and fuzzy.

To make a contribution to Micah’s project you can give as little as a buck and get back a thank you. For a little more you can get a thank you and the right to download his new CD when available. For a lot of money he’ll come to your home, prepare you a great vegetarian meal, and sing you a few ballads. Want to help out a starving artist? Click on the Indiegogo logo or the album cover below.

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micah spells

 

Crowdsourcing – Be a Patron of the Arts

There’s nothing new about crowdsourcing. People in the arts have relied on patrons to support their creativity since the first caveman drew a deer outline on a rock wall with a piece of soapstone.

In the world of the Internet being a patron has taken a leap forward and on several occasions I’ve found myself pledging a small amount to help out a project in which I’m interested. I’m contributed to DVD video projects, several new CD projects by independent musicians I like,  a visual art project,  and a couple of music education projects. It’s all been legit, only cost what I could afford, and doing so has made me feel good.

My son, Mike Chapman, has literally been an artist since he was physically able to hold a crayon. When he was about three a family friend gave him a box of scrap computer paper and over the course of a few months it disappeared. Mike drew on it or with masking tape turned it into three-dimensional creations. A crayon, a pair of  scissors, a roll of tape, and a stack of green computer was all it took to keep the kid happy.

(Note: After reading this Mike told me he drew his first multi-page comic book when he was three years old. He thinks in hiding somewhere in our house.)

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Sister Rosetta…The Mother of Rock ‘n Roll

Every wonder where today’s rock and roll guitar licks originated. Well, there are those who say nobody contributed to the genre more than Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She came on the scene in the early 1940s and left her mark all over rock. Just pay attention to the licks she plays in this old Gospel song.

Playing for Change – The Great Communicator

playing for change logoPlaying for Change just never disappoints. Recently I MC’d a music event and I spoke briefly about the ability of musicians to communicate. It’s oft said that music is the international language and to me P for C is the proof positive that such is true. Just consider all the people in the following video and where they are located in the world and the various languages and cultures they represent. Yet, here they are coming together to offer something we can all relate and react to. Bless you P for C for helping to unite we the people.

The Essence of Popular Music Genres

punk

Since I’m on a sort of music jag I’ll continue with this bit of fun. Ever wonder what the essence of popular musical styles consist of? Well, visit this link and check it out. Bet you’ll smile at least once!

10 Music Genres Perfectly Explained – Dose – Your Daily Dose of Amazing

The King of Guitar Slingers is Celebrated

les paulSpeaking of guitar slingers the all pretty much stand on the shoulders of Les Paul, the man credited with inventing the solid body electric guitar and multi-track recording. Take either away and rock ‘n roll as we know it disappears.

Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915 and this June marks the one-hundredth year of his birth. Across the nation a year-long celebration is taking shape and it began in New York City with a concert featuring many of today’s best guitarists.

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